Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Changes to Hospital Inpatient Volume After Newspaper Reporting of Medical Errors.

Fukuda, Haruhisa PhD, MPH
Journal of Patient Safety: Post Author Corrections: June 30, 2017
doi: 10.1097/PTS.0000000000000349
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of medical error case reporting by national newspapers on inpatient volume at acute care hospitals.

Design: A case-control study was conducted using the article databases of 3 major Japanese newspapers with nationwide circulation between fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Data on inpatient volume at acute care hospitals were obtained from a Japanese government survey between fiscal years 2011 and 2014. Panel data were constructed and analyzed using a difference-in-differences design.

Setting: Acute care hospitals in Japan.

Participants: Hospitals named in articles that included the terms "medical error" and "hospital" were designated case hospitals, which were matched with control hospitals using corresponding locations, nurse-to-patient ratios, and bed numbers.

Exposure: Medical error case reporting in newspapers.

Main outcome measures: Changes to hospital inpatient volume after error reports.

Results: The sample comprised 40 case hospitals and 40 control hospitals. Difference-in-differences analyses indicated that newspaper reporting of medical errors was not significantly associated (P = 0.122) with overall inpatient volume.

Conclusions: Medical error case reporting by newspapers showed no influence on inpatient volume. Hospitals therefore have little incentive to respond adequately and proactively to medical errors. There may be a need for government intervention to improve the posterror response and encourage better health care safety.

Copyright (C) 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved